A Brief History of Highland Park
The history of Highland Park begins in the 18th Century. The first European settler in the neighborhood was the German Alexander Negley. He bought a farm in 1778 that he nicknamed “Fertile Bottom.” The farm occupied what is now known as Highland Park. Around one hundred years later, Highland Park grew to be a streetcar suburb. During the decline of East Liberty (now the East End) in the ’70s until about the year 2000, Highland Park made a business district of their own. The Bryant Street area has restaurants, a grocery store, bakery, coffee shop and more.
Jacob Negley, son of Alexander Negley, married a woman named Barbara. When Jacob died, she built a new farmhouse in 1829, which stands in the Farmhouse Park playground in Highland Park. On August 30, 2007, the National Register of Historic Places named the Highland Park Residential Historic District to its list. Jazz singer Billy Eckstein and singer, dancer and Academy Award winning actor Gene Kelly were born in Highland Park.